ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - The verdict is in from a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, and the health giant ain't smelling too fresh.
A Missouri state jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a total of $72 million in damages to the family of Jackie Fox, an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer. That's $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive.
Jackie's death was linked to using the company's talc-based baby powder and shower-to-shower for feminine hygiene over three decades. She died last October, two years after her cancer diagnosis. Her son took over the claim and the lawyers assert Johnson & Johnson was aware of the possible risk. Lawyers say the company knew, but never warned the public.
Jim Onder, the family's attorney says, "It's been proven, talcum powder does in fact cause ovarian cancer It's been known for over 30 years by the industry, but they've hidden the truth."
The company has been found guilty of fraud, negligence and conspiracy. Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokesperson released a statement: "The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome."
Johnson & Johnson is expected to appeal, but the Fox family was not alone in their claims. Another 12-hundred lawsuits are pending.
Jackie's son, Marvin Salter, chokes back tears as he says, "Her whole fight was not just for her, but for so many other women."
The world has been buying their products for almost 130 years. Wonder if this huge financial blow will cause Johnson & Johnson to take a powder?